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NEW Proposed paths released on MAGLEV - First Open House Sat. 10.14.17 at Bowie State, Second 10.24.17 at Laurel High School
The Baltimore Washington Superconducting Maglev Project has released their new analysis which has reduced the number of alternative pathways being considered for study. It is still important to attend these meetings and voice your opinion as all of these paths still affect many of our neighborhoods. One of the remaining proposed paths travels right through Bowie and two of the alternates follow the Baltimore-Washington Parkway impacting Laurel. See the proposed paths and get more information in my newsletter, here.
HB 635/Chapter 168 - Homicide by Motor Vehicle or Vessel While Impaired by Controlled Dangerous Substance - Penalties I am proud to share with you the newsletter from AAA, detailing a bill I fought to see get enacted for three years. I introduced this bill after hearing many tragic stories of families torn apart by drugged driving fatalities and their feelings of helplessness as they watched when the judge could only give the repeat offender a maximum of three years. Read my newsletter here.
MAGLEV Proposal Update I have great concerns over proposed routes through heavily populated areas which would greatly disrupt long established neighborhoods for a train which I feel would be of little use to the average citizen due to the expense involved. The MAGLEV project has proposed alignments which travel through Baltimore City, Howard County, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s, however the train will have only scheduled stops in Baltimore, BWI and the District of Columbia. For the rest of us, we may have disrupted communities, destroyed neighborhoods and years of construction for an expensive commuter train to serve wealthy clients from DC to Baltimore with no benefits to the local communities. Please read the letter that Senator Douglas J. Peters and I recently sent to our colleagues concerning this issue. More information regarding the MAGLEV proposed alignment routes may be found here. Additional information can be located in the BWRR proposal and in the September 5th MDOT presentation to the City of Bowie. am also sharing with you an email I recently sent to the County Legislative Director. I have been trying to bring public awareness to this project by publicizing the meetings and announcements of the Maryland Department of Transportation. The state of Maryland has put no money into this project, thus, I have had no opportunity to weigh in on this project at the legislative level. The funding is coming from the federal government, private industry and the government of Japan. I will continue to facilitate spreading the word regarding these public meetings. I have requested a list of all public officials along the proposed routes so that the Senator and I can coordinate meetings between MDOT and these officials, as well as a separate meeting between the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the officials. I will work with these other public officials to present a united front.
Please read this letter from Chief David Morris, President of the Maryland Police Chiefs Association, regarding HB 1043. I introduced this bill in the Maryland Legislature to prohibit “a driver of a motor vehicle from smoking or consuming marijuana in the passenger area of a motor vehicle on a highway; and prohibiting an occupant of a motor vehicle from smoking marijuana in the passenger area of the motor vehicle on a highway.” Please contact your respective state senators and have them urge JPR Chairman Senator Zirkin to put HB 1043 to a committee vote so the bill can be heard and voted on by the
full Senate. Read the letter here and contact your state senators today.
Capital Gazette/Bowie-Blade News: Cleanup Ahead for Bowie Race Track Property
The Bowie Race Track property will get some much-needed sprucing up in the months ahead, thanks to a signed memorandum of understanding between the site owner and the city of Bowie. Read the full article here.
Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association: Lawmaker Floats Amendment of Bowie Training Property
A Maryland lawmaker has offered a legislative amendment that would make the Bowie Training Center eligible for racetrack capital improvement funds generated by video lottery terminals at the state’s casinos...
Democratic Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith, during a Feb. 15 hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee, said her amendment would add the Bowie Training Center to the list of facilities eligible to use the Racetrack Facilities Renewal Account, which is funded by 1% of VLT revenue. Prince George’s County, the City of Bowie, and local residents said it is imperative the historic piece of property be regularly maintained given it serves as a gateway to the city... Read the full article here.
Citizen Action Needed to Save Regional Medical Center and Cardiac Care for Our County
The latest Maryland Heath Care Cost Commission (MHCC) actions will negatively impact the Prince George's County Regional Medical Center and Cardiac Care Program. Your action is needed. Get details here.
The Washington Post: Hospital Fight
A January 23 article in The Washington Post discusses my opposition (as well as the objections of other lawmakers from Prince George's County) to state approval of a heart surgery unit at Anne Arundel Medical Center, a project which will impair the fledging cardiac program in the Prince George’s hospital system.
Read the full article here.
The Baltimore Sun: PG County Delegation: AAMC Cardiac Surgery Program Will Hurt County's Regional Medical Center
A January 25 article in The Baltimore Sun reports on our press conference regarding the opposition our delegation — including the county executive, county council and senate and house delegations — has to the proposed MHCC plans. "The recommendation for AAMC's program is in "blatant violation" of the Maryland state health plan, said Del. Geraldine Valentino-Smith (D-District 23A). She added that the plan is supposed to give all Marylanders the chance to access of health care. The commission's decision appears to have turned a blind eye toward the exact criteria it has set up," she said."
Read the full article here.
Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith speaks at a press conference to save Prince George's County Regional Medical Center.
Development Near Sacred Heart
I am opposed to development near Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Route 450 in Bowie, and I've recently submitted a bill for consideration by the General Assembly that would forestall any county action on the zoning change request until a new Bowie vicinity master plan is completed and approved. Get the story (via The Capital Gazette) here.
House of Delegates Resolution honoring Bowie State University President Dr. Mickey L. Burnim during Bowie State University Day in Annapolis
Talking with visiting Bowie State University Students as part of Bowie State University Day in Annapolis
Geraldine Valentino-Smith represents District 23A in the Maryland Legislature. The district includes portions of Southern Laurel, Bowie, and Glenn Dale. Click here for a district map.
It is my privilege to represent the citizens of Legislative District 23A. I try to share news of importance to all of us throughout the year. My newsletters can be found at the links below.
I am always happy to hear from you on state issues of importance to you or to try to lend some assistance if you have encountered a problem or need information on a government program. You can always call me at 301-858-3101 and my office will get back in touch. You can also send me an email. If you are seeking information on legislation at the state level, you can obtain a status or watch hearings here.
Again, thank you for the honor of being your Delegate. I love my job and appreciate your vote of confidence.